Leather Works

I moved! Better access to functionality and fun! www.sufficientmorale.com

Spent the weekend moving everything (which wasn’t much) over to my new self-hosted website to improve the available functions and features on the site! I hope you guys head over and check it out, as this blog will not be updated as I’ll be doing everything on the new site from this point on!

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Steam Punk Chest Piece Take 2!

So tonight I completed the final touches to the Time Machine Steam Punk chest piece.  Yes, I made it light up :).

Added some EL wire to the inside behind the lens, completed the attachment to the main chest piece base, and finished the infinity mirror effect behind the lens.  I hope you guys enjoy it, and let me know if you think anything needs to be changed or added! I love feedback!

Leather Steam Punk Time Travel Chest Piece

So, yeah.  The title is a bit out there, but I’ve no clue what to call this time travelling device for you steam punk enthusiasts.  Two questions I know you are asking:

1) Does it light up or what? — Yes, I will be adding EL wire to the piece so that it will glow a bright blue in the center.
2) is that star map on the back real? — Yes. If you can tell me what part of the night sky that is you get some serious extra bonus points.

So I cut out the basic pattern that I wanted knowing that I want to wear a vest underneath it so I didn’t want it to be too constricting.  I figured a piece that I could simply strap on was the best way to go, and let’s be honest, the more buckles you can put on a steam punk piece the better.  I went with the two over-the-shoulder and one around the midsection plan.  After cutting out the front and the back, I got to work with my wood burner (turned leather burner), a metal straight edge, a star map of a certain portion of the night sky, an 18V cordless drill, some brown shoe polish (for shading and water proofing), and my Pandora John Mayer channel.

Now I would definitely suggest that you practice burning leather before you just plug in and start filling the air with burnt dried flesh.  It took me a few practice runs on some scrap leather before I was confident in how fast I could move the burner, how hard I needed to press down, and to learn when too much was too much.  Once I had the burning down, I dug through the garage for as many different sized circles I could find, wet the leather slightly to make an impression with the “stencils” I had commandeered, and got to tracing my indentations.

The 1/4″ copper tubing is absolutely a pain in the rear to bend.  I tried filling with soapy water and freezing, packing with salt, and about 15 other tricks of the trade before I caved in and bought a $12 tube bender at Lowes.  I mean, seriously, $12 is more than worth it when trying to make tight bends on multiple pieces of copper.  Then I wet the ends of the center leather gear shape and wrapped copper wiring to secure the pipes in place (I will be running the EL wire through the pipes for the lighting effect later).

Welp.  Two down, and who knows how many more to go.  WOO!

Steam Punk Glass Bottle Holder

My first steam punk “accessory” is complete.  I found some old cologne bottles, and loved the square shape.  I basically worked around the bottle and designed the working key lock into the lower ‘seat’ to secure the bottle.  It took a surprisingly small amount of leather to complete using  6 Oz vegetable tanned Cowhide.  The key is mounted so that it swivels down to lock inside the static ring on the bottom.

To craft, or not to craft. As if I had a choice…

So here goes nothing.  My creative expression requires outlet.  Until now, this ‘outlet’ has consisted of near-random ideas half-assed and thrown together in a night or two of disorganized but motivated crafting.  From leather tooling and construction to breaking out the ol’ Kenmore sewing machine, I have managed to make more than a mess or six in the living room.  Luckily for me, I have an incredibly patient and artistic wife that allows these “craftnados” to ravage the normally orderly appearance of our living room floor with little complaint.

This year I will attempt to direct my creative energy in this here blog format.  The point of which, for me, will be so that I can access my past projects and rate their success throughout the year.  It is decidedly more efficient than tearing through one of 3 closets solely dedicated to the entombment of finished projects.

Your interest and/or support can be expressed through the comments section, which I assuredly welcome wholeheartedly. Feel free to compliment, critique, or outright shred my successes and failures.  Knowing you took the time to even take a peek will surely fuel the creative flames of my passions, so for that I thank you in advance.

The big bang and that time my dog ate my homework.

We can all admit that whether the theory still stands on it’s own, a massive and near-instantaneous expansion of a singularity into the unfathomably large universe we float around in today is an amazing thought.  Creating something from nothing, or more accurately — everything from some single thing — is much like the way I artistically express myself through crafting.  A single idea, filtered through my desire to create, not-so-instantaneously transforms into a finished piece.

Why the bit about “my dog ate my homework?”.

My Wife recently suggested that we take our 2015 family photos in Steam Punk gear.  As a leather worker, and professional dissassembler of no-longer-wanted appliances, the thought of it is as close to a dream come true as they come.  In the true hop-to spirit of a Man who loves to please his Wife, I jumped right in to patterning and cutting a Victorian style corset/vest for her.  6 days and many an hour at the helm of Mrs. Kenmore, I captained my project into port success with pride and excitement.

At this point I would like to point out that we own a loving, sweet, and mild-mannered Red Doberman named Layla.  She is kind, protective, and always adorably curious with anything new.  That being said, she has never before paid half a mind to my leather projects.  Now, allow me to be more specific:

She has never before paid half of her little mind to my ‘bovine’ derived leather projects.

Unfortunately for me and my Wife’s Victorian corset, Layla loves Sheep hide.  In one night, she completely destroyed (and actually consumed a full 50% of) my hard work.  Quite literally “eating my homework”.  Although I’m sure you were all hoping for a hi-res completed corset picture, you’ll just need to close your eyes and envision the most beautiful and regal of all Steam Punk corsets ever made, because I’m not going in after it.

From this point on, you can expect a better safe-guard against similar future incidents, and I promise I’ll take pictures as soon as I complete them.